PATERSON, NJ - The City Clerk's office on December 15 began distributing petitions for candidates seeking to run in the six ward council races this spring. But folks seeking the at-large council seat that Benjie Wimberly will vacate when he moves to the state Assembly in January have to wait.
At the direction of the city law department, the clerk is not giving out at-large petitions yet. In fact, it's not 100 percent certain there will be an at-large election in May.
The City Council has the option of appointing someone to fill Wimberly's seat. It can also put the seat up for election in May during the ward races or it can hold a separate special election, possibly in November.
Corporation Counsel Paul Forsman said he would provide the council with a memo on its options once Wimberly submits his resignation. Wimberly takes office on January 10, but indicated he may put in his resignation sooner than that.
Kenneth McDaniel, who was originally named a winner in the 2010 at-large race and then lost the seat in a recount to Rigo Rodriguez, has urged the council to appoint him. McDaniel maintains he's entitled to seat, arguing that he rightly won in 2010.
Others who have said they would run in the at-large race are Paterson Schools Commissioners Christopher Irving and Pedro Rodriguez and city Urban Enterprise Zone commissioner Frank Filippelli.